Football: 'Entrapment has won'

Former Three Lions manager Sam Allardyce speaks to the press outside his home in northern England yesterday. He blamed entrapment for ending his 67-day tenure as England boss but recognised that he made an error of judgment.
Former Three Lions manager Sam Allardyce speaks to the press outside his home in northern England yesterday. He blamed entrapment for ending his 67-day tenure as England boss but recognised that he made an error of judgment.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Allardyce is forced to leave England job after being exposed by undercover sting

LONDON • Sam Allardyce's straight-talking style helped land him the England manager's job, but just 67 days later it has cost him the dream role he coveted for years.

Allardyce, known as "Big Sam", was secretly filmed by The Daily Telegraph giving advice on how to circumnavigate transfer rules and mocking the speech impediment of predecessor Roy Hodgson.

And he paid the ultimate price for his outspoken comments as the Football Association (FA) felt compelled to part company with him by mutual consent on Tuesday.

The 61-year-old offered to resign from the role, which carried a £3 million (S$5.32 million) salary plus performance-related bonuses, after a meeting with the governing body's chairman, Greg Clarke, and chief executive, Martin Glenn.

In a statement, the FA said: "He accepts he made a significant error of judgment and has apologised. However, due to the serious nature of his actions, the FA and Allardyce have mutually agreed to terminate his contract with immediate effect.

"This is not a decision that was taken lightly, but the FA's priority is to protect the wider interests of the game and maintain the highest standards of conduct in football."


Allardyce's blunt manner had already created its fair share of news in his fledgling England tenure.


Entrapment has won on this occasion and I have to accept that. I've apologised to (the FA) and all concerned.

SAM ALLARDYCE , the former England manager, on what cost him the job which he had coveted for years.

  • Other controversial England managers

  • GLENN HODDLE (1996-99)

    He lost his job in 1999 after making a series of controversial comments about disabled people.

    "You and I have been physically given two hands and two legs and half-decent brains," Hoddle was quoted in a newspaper interview. "Some people have not been born like that for a reason. The karma is working from another lifetime. What you sow, you have to reap."


    He clung on to his job in 2006 after being caught in a newspaper sting similar to the one now haunting Sam Allardyce.

    Eriksson was on an FA-sanctioned trip to Dubai when he was contacted by an undercover reporter posing as a sheikh who said he wanted to discuss a coaching job at a new football academy in the region.

    The suave Swede was said to have told the reporter he would be willing to leave the England position to manage Aston Villa if the club was taken over, that England striker Michael Owen was not happy at Newcastle and that he would like to be paid as much as then Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

    Eriksson's agent called the article "disgraceful entrapment" and the Swede survived to take charge at the 2006 World Cup before finally leaving the post after the tournament.

    FABIO CAPELLO (2008-12)

    The Italian suffered a breakdown in his relationship with the FA after objecting to the board's decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy in 2012.

    Terry was charged by the FA after he had racially abused Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand. He admitted using the word "black" but insisted he had been only repeating words he thought Ferdinand had accused him of saying.

    He was cleared in court, but the FA handed the centre-back a four-match ban and a fine.

    Capello resigned in protest at the FA's decision to take the armband from Terry without his approval.


He said he would consider a recall for former captain John Terry, who retired from international football after racism allegations in 2012, and raised eyebrows by talking up the prospects of foreign-born players.

His reign began with a last-gasp win away to Slovakia in 2018 World Cup qualifying, but Allardyce inadvertently stole the headlines by saying he could not tell captain Wayne Rooney where to play.

In a sting operation by The Daily Telegraph, Allardyce was filmed negotiating a £400,000 deal to work for what he believed was an Asian football agency and making remarks about bypassing "ridiculous" FA and Fifa rules banning third-party ownership.

The system is popular in Latin America, where individual investors or companies can buy the economic rights to a player and control which club he plays for, but banned in Britain.

He also made critical remarks about Hodgson and about Prince William, the FA president.

An emotional and apologetic Allardyce was seen heading for the airport yesterday, blaming entrapment but recognising that an error of judgment had led to his downfall. He told reporters outside his home in northern England that he was going abroad "to chill out and reflect", refused to rule out an eventual return to football.

"Who knows? We'll wait and see," he said. "Unfortunately the whole thing was an error in judgment on my behalf. I have paid the consequences.

"Entrapment has won on this occasion and I have to accept that. I've apologised to (the FA) and all concerned."

Alan Shearer, the former England striker, told the BBC: "I'm angry at the whole situation, I didn't think England could stoop any lower from what happened in the summer at the Euros. Now here we are, a laughing stock of world football."

Allardyce had been appointed to replace Hodgson after England's miserable Euro 2016 campaign ended with a shock last-16 exit against minnows Iceland.

He may have been England's shortest-serving football manager but he was also, technically, their most successful. He departed with a 100 per cent record.

Gareth Southgate, manager of the England Under-21s, will take over for the senior team's next four matches as the FA searches for a successor.



A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2016, with the headline ''Entrapment has won''. Print Edition | Subscribe